2014-12-05 16:15:00

Philippine bishops urge schools, churches be open to typhoon refugees

As another powerful typhoon is about to make landfall in the Philippines on Saturday, Archbishop Socrates Villegas of Lingayen-Dagupan has urged schools and churches to "open their doors to refugees".  The president of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) also sent a strong message to the government to evacuate people saying “there is no such thing as an excess of caution, especially when faced with a danger so severe." The prelate called on Filipinos, even those far from the direct path of Super Typhoon Hagupit to pray for the safety of the entire country.  Tens of thousands of people fled coastal villages and landslide-prone areas in the central Philippines on Friday, a day before typhoon Hagupit was expected to hit the island nation where thousands were killed by typhoon Haiyan 13 months ago.  Weakened slightly, Typhoon Hagupit  is no longer a category 5 "super typhoon".  "Together with my brother-bishops, I commend the entire nation to the mercy, love and providence of our Father," Archbishop Villegas said. Pope Francis is scheduled to visit the Philippines, January 15-19, during which he will visit a typhoon hit area and share a meal with some of the survivors.‎  (AsiaNews)

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